Bryan County has $22.5 million in road projects set for the next 18 months, according to the transportation plan revealed last week by Gov. Nathan Deal in Atlanta.
The biggest part by far of the allocation is the $19.3 million earmarked for Highway 144 from Timber Trail to Belfast Keller Road. That project is scheduled for the January-June period of fiscal year 2017, according to the project forecast on dot.ga.gov.
Also set for Bryan County are maintenance projects on state routes 67, 30 and 119; scour repair on the Interstate 16 bridge at Black Creek; and work on the I-95 southbound ramps at Highway 17.
The projects are part of an 18-month, $2.2 billion transportation-project list for Georgia that Deal announced Jan. 12. The list is the first phase of a 10-year, $10 billion transportation plan on which the General Assembly signed off last year.
“One year ago, I stood before the General Assembly and urged members to prioritize Georgia’s transportation needs,” Deal said in a news release. “In order to maintain our roads and bridges, improve congestion and accommodate the movement of freight traffic, we could no longer afford to kick the can down the road. Legislators on both sides of the aisle took action, working together to pass legislation addressing these critical needs. Today, we are delivering on our promise.”
Sen. Ben Watson, R-Savannah, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, told the News that the state has fallen behind in terms of upkeep of bridges and roads. About 60 percent of the transportation plan is going toward maintenance statewide, he said, with the rest set for new projects.
“We are excited that we now have the ability to start addressing the back log of work to Georgia’s critical infrastructure and increase preventative maintenance across the state,” Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry said in a news release. “Over the next 18 months, GDOT will deliver contracts that resurface nearly 2,500 miles of roads, replace more than 100 bridges, and provide critical rehabilitation to more than 300 bridges. Our first priority is to take care of the existing transportation system which is reflected in our vision for the next decade and beyond.”
The plan requires committee approval before implementation.
Also last week, Watson said he received word from the GDOT that the field survey on the proposed interchange project at I-95 and Belfast Keller Road has been completed, and that the project remains on its target time of this June for final authorization of right-of-way.